SHOT IN THE DARK-SIDE OF THE MOON
While on his journey to the moon and back, astronaut Edgar Mitchell conducted an unscheduled experiment of his own. On June 22, 1971, he informed the New York Times that:
He claimed, in effect, that his demonstration showed that ESP was independent of shielding, locale, distance, or time. When he got back to planet Earth, he founded The Institute of Noetic Science (IONS), noetic meaning consciousness studies. That program, now run by parapsychologist Dean Radin, is still thriving and the Institute recently moved to larger quarters in an old school in Petaluma, California. IONS is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
The spontaneous event commonly called psychic experience, perception or ability is called ‘psi’ in scientific arenas. Even more precisely, it is now often referred to as anomalous cognition (AC). A particular form of intentional AC is known as Remote Viewing. Between 1978-1995 the U.S. government sponsored the Stargate Program, in conjunction with Stanford Research Institute (SRI), a psyops development think tank.
The existence of psi or ESP abilities has been hotly debated among scientists for decades, since J. B. Rhine began his experiments in 1927. Both the pro (Dean Radin; Ingo Swann; Jessica Utts, Russell Targ; Hiroshi Motoyama) and con (James Randi, Susan Blackmore, CSICOPS) positions have their “true believers”, and it seems never the twain shall meet.
Psi is still a paradigm that lives on the outskirts trying to become a sanctioned science. But just because a subject is controversial, and happens to be a space and time transcending experience, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t investigate it. In fact, it beckons us to focus on it even more thoroughly to reveal the truths hidden there. We simply need to do it with stringent, critic-proof methodology.
There are a variety of psi powers, known for centuries in Eastern philosophy as siddhas, exceptional human abilities. The uninitiated or skeptical may be perplexed or daunted at the prospect of coming to any rational conceptual understanding of these anomalous phenomena, which have been associated with the realm of mysticism, superstition and the supernatural.
In actual fact, research by the authors, who are both certified hypnotherapists (A.C.H.E.), and others (Miller; Ryzl) shows that nearly anyone can improve their psi ability through simple techniques of self-hypnosis.
Psi is also at the root of focused intent, distant mental interactions, distance healing and therapeutic rapport, where there is a subtle shared consciousness and often brainwave synchronization. This capacity is within everyone’s grasp, as the human potential movement demonstrated with such trance phenomena as fire walking and guided imagery.
We’ve virtually all had those uncanny or awesome experiences where we seemed to intuit, dream, or “know” something in advance of conventional means. Sometimes it is called pre-sentiment. Around 55% of reported incidents occur in dreams. Another example, is the synchronicity at work in the affairs of “star-crossed lovers.” When we are in love, we seem to share the same “wavelength,” virtually able to read one another’s minds. Who hasn’t thought of a friend or acquaintance only to have the phone ring?
Often the most compelling stories come from those who don’t even “believe” in the phenomenon, but find themselves experiencing it, usually in the unfortunate circumstance of the illness, injury or death of a distant loved-one. Psi is not just a mental perception or conception; we feel it in our guts, in our bones, in our marrow. It is first and foremost a holistic mind/body experience.
According to leading parapsychologist Dr. Stanley Krippner, “At one level of investigation, there already are ‘replications’ and ‘battle-tested’ results, specifically the finding that about 50% of an unselected group will report having had a ‘psychic experience,’ supposedly involving those psi phenomena that have been given such labels as ‘telepathy’, ‘clairvoyance’, ‘precognition’, and ‘psychokinesis’ [mind over matter]. This percentage may vary from one culture, age group, and educational level to the next, but it has been repeated, in one study after another, for the last several decades.”
The move in biophysics is to take psi research from endless theorization, proofs of existence and boring replications into innovative and practical experimentation. The problem is that in order to do that scientifically, one has to risk credibility and professional suicide, as well as being underfunded.
Though it often seems confined to mediums, channels, sensitives, or ESPers, most individuals are capable of expressing some nonlocal communication or psi phenomena. However, that ability may be blocked for various reasons by an adaptation to consensus reality, to conventional thinking. We need to develop “out of the box” thinking. Even Einstein said that past, present, and future are illusions, even if they are stubborn ones. Conscious calculation rarely plays a role in ESP; the same is true for creativity.
Both ESP and creativity have deep taproots in the psyche. Pang and Forte (1967) found some evidence of a relationship between creativity and ESP, as did others (Honorton, 1967). Frederick Myers reported that a large proportion of ESP experiences occur in altered states such as dreams, trance, hypnosis and creativity while Masters and Houston (1966) counted it among the varieties of psychedelic experience.
ESP, hypnosis and mind-expanded states have sensitivity to the unconscious at their core. And that subconscious expresses itself through symbols, imagery, and sensations to communicate with the conscious mind. Hypnosis is the “open sesame” to the waking impressions and sensory images of the deeper mind/body.
The elusive ability to swing back ‘the doors of perception’ and enter the numinous realm of the collective unconscious was described by psychologist C. G. Jung. Whether deliberate or accidental, anyone can open to the force of this revealed process, to this dynamic information field. Those who frustrate themselves with self-defeating behavior in other areas of life often show poor psi performance.
Positive ESP scores seem to correlate generally with traits such as openness, high self-esteem, warmth, sociability, adventuresomeness, relaxation, assertiveness, talkativeness and practicality. However, some psi-talented individuals often don’t score well in laboratory settings.
On the other hand Russell Targ (1994) claims, “[P]si is no longer elusive; it can be demonstrated when needed for study and investigation.” Even though psychic training to strengthen the signal line is possible, unpredictability has been the hallmark of this emergent gift. To overcome this problem in both the theoretical and experimental arenas requires a marriage of the disciplines of physics, biology, medicine, psychology, and hypnosis.
Findings from all these fields converge in the paradoxical subject of Extra-Sensory Perception. As the ideas of quantum mechanics, relativity and parapsychology slowly make their way into our collective consciousness, our common-sense views on time and causality find themselves more strained than they’ve ever been in the course of human history.
Will this challenge remain the domain of theoretical science, or can we foresee a day in which the general understanding, and even the experience of the average individual, will be shaped by this new perspective on reality? (Sidorov, 2003, “The Mind In Time”).
It takes many disciplines, as well as the latest findings in physiology, neurobiology and information theory to begin to formulate any comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon and bridge the conceptual gap. ESP used to be studied in Parapsychology, an adjunct of psychology. But its subject matter has become so mainstream, the field has been return to ordinary Psychology. ESP “software” is studied in psychology, but ESP “hardware” is the domain of biophysics.
Researchers are probing the interface between matter, spacetime and mind with increasing precision. There is optimism that ultimately conventional pathways will be found to explain their appearance. Suggestions have included Schumann Resonance as a nearly-instantaneous carrier of psi information or perhaps paradoxical quantum nonlocality or coherence to account for it.
There are many models that provide potentially viable explanations. The mental aspects can perhaps be described psychologically, but the mechanics require models from physics. A variety of theories have been proposed, including neurological, holographic, electromagnetic, and quantum mechanics based hypotheses.
Like electricity, no one knows how psi works. However, to foster and practice psi we don’t need to know how it works, anymore than we need to know the mechanics of internal combustion to drive a car.
This month (July 2003) on the editorial board of the Journal of Non-Local and Remote Mental Interactions, we have been preparing a special issue on Remote Viewing.http://www.emergentmind.org/jnlrmi_ii(2).htm
Stargate RV expert and teacher, Joseph McMoneagle is interviewed, along with such notables as author and theoretical physicist, Fred Alan Wolf, and Finnish physicist Matti Pitkanen. Many plausible theories and new experimental protocols are being proposed, pushing the leading edge of physics, biophysics, and experimental parapsychology. Though it is often suggested, it remains to be seen if psi is a field, a quantum effect, or a physical quantity.
We are examining aspects from coherent fields to strength of intent, arousal states, target specificity, subject-target separation, psi-expectancy, anticipatory effects and information flow. Studies of field resonance, metabolism, biophotons, entanglement, geomagnetic fluctuations, time-reversed experience, energy transfer, physiological detectors, biomind receptors, psychophysical responses, bioregulation, enhanced recovery, experimenter effects, EM signatures and transduction pathways may yield more information about the process.
The areas of extrasensory perception or anomalous cognition we discuss here include (1) Telepathy; (2) Clairvoyance; and (3) Precognition. These faculties came into the public eye when stories of Russian and CIA remote viewers broke in the press. But compelling, anecdotal stories alone do not satisfy the scientific method.
Stories of distance healing, a form of PK or psychokinesis (mind over matter), require another article of their own to do them justice. It may be easier to model virtual information transfer than mind over matter. “Spooky action at a distance” requires even stronger evidence than sensing at a distance. But is “distance” here really a factor or an illusion in a holographic simply-connected universe? The paradox of spacetime and relativity presents itself in psi as psycho-retrocognition, or time-reversed PK.
Though these experiences of knowing at a distance are called “extra-sensory,” they often appear “as if” received by conventional sensory or mental means, for how else can we “know what we know”? It is a holistic psychophysical experience, affecting the whole self, physically, emotionally, mentally and often spiritually. The impediments of distance and time seem to dissolve; the barriers of spacetime are mysteriously overcome. The information is ‘just there’ in one form or another, whether spontaneous or facilitated.
1). Telepathy is a message, direct mind-to-mind communiction, direct knowing through being, a clear intuition or empathic awareness, often demonstrated in the psychotherapeutic setting. Telepathy is a transmission from one mind to another.
2). Clairvoyance appears as information about events at remote locations, manifesting as an image, or gestalt psychic impression, rather than a thought; (it is often linked to perception at a distance: so-called astral travel, out-of-body experience, or remote viewing).
3). Precognition is the most uncanny; transcending time, it seems to rend the veils of the future (jamais vu) and the past (deja vu) with strong, often unpleasant, premonitions.
According to Scientific American (Sept. 2002, p. 103), [apparently long after Pribram’s theory from the 70s], “in 1990 Herman Sno, a psychiatrist at Hospirtal de Heel in Zaandam, the Netherlands, suggested that memories are stored in a format similar to holograms. Unlike a photograph, each section of a hologram contains all the information needed to reproduce the entire picture. But the smaller the fragment, the fuzzier the resultant image. According to Sno, deja vu occurs when some small detail in one’s current situation closely matches a memory fragment, conjuring up a blurry image of that former experience.” There are competing theories of deja vu, but the holographic concept of reality is a leading contender in the biomechanical explanations of psi.
Psi meaning comes through emotionally intense visual, auditory and kinesthetic experiences. It is a human potential we can learn to tap. We can use our intentionality as a probability perturbation instrument. We can use mental focus to alternately concentrate and relax our attention. Intent is suggested as a variable in transmission and reception in the exchange of extrasensory information, possibly within the range of ELF electromagnetic frequencies (Sidorov, 2002).
Stanford and Lovin (1970) found possible support for a relationship between the generation of alpha waves and ESP, as did Monroe (1971). More recent research has implicated the electromagnetic signals of Schumann Resonances as carrier of seemingly non-local transfer of information (Pitkanin, 2001). Persinger (1989) has suggested that psi information signals are actually carried on extremely low electromagnetic frequencies and our temporal lobe structures are sensitive to them.
Whether one believes in spontaneous psi experience, or not, it has a long and colorful history, in the mystic and healing arts of the East and West, and in science, even business. The difference is the trigger that evokes the experience. Management trainers have taught self-hypnosis as a means of fostering intuition, rapport and other practical applications of ESP.
The role of ESP is inextricably bound up with other creative processes where information or inspiration seemingly appear from nowhere. Data acquired through ESP, prescient dreams and other imaginative thought processes riddles the stories of scientific discovery and creativity. Psychic detective work and investigative reporting has received mixed reviews, since following up on dry leads uses time and vital resources. Without controls, these anecdotes are difficult to evaluate.
In the arts, it has been said that “life imitates art,” sometimes to uncanny proportions. Krippner (1972) recounts a story of ESP in creativity, whose prophetic detail later took on ominous tones.
In 1898, Morgan Robertson published a popular novel called Futility. It described the wreck of a giant ship called the Titan, considered “unsinkable” by the characters in the novel. Perhaps you recognize this oft-told tale as that of the Titanic, but it was not wrecked until April 15, 1912. In the novel, the ship displaced 70,000 tons (Titanic 66,000 tons), was 800 feet long (Titanic 828 feet); the Titan carried 3000 passengers and 24 lifeboats, while Titanic had only 20 lifeboats for the same number of people. Both ships sank while encountering an iceberg at the speed of 23-25 knots. The rest, as they say, is history.
The question becomes “How can we facilitate the emergence of psi phenomena, either for greater awareness or creativity?” Knowing what we know about psi expression, how can we train ourselves to encourage its emergence? Hypnosis or self-hypnosis simply helps engage the emotional mind, the imaginal mind, the biophysical mind rather than just approaching the task rationally and conceptually.
Unfortunately, the question of psi-facilitation was asked by covert forces during the Cold War, and much of the statistical and practical data on psi comes from those black-ops sources (CIA, KGB, NSA, DIA, DOD, U.S. Army and Navy). The Russians wanted to use psi for espionage and the US countered with its own team. Much of this government-sponsored work went on at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International), by Puharich, Puthoff, Targ, and Swann.
Human potential advocates, Jack Schwarz and Robert Monroe separately pursued independent, more explorative and mystical approaches. Both taught consciousness management techniques through forms of self-hypnosis. Schwarz, practicing as the Aleithea Foundation in Southern Oregon, focused on bioregulation with autohypnosis and subtle human energies.
Monroe’s techniques employ neuroregulation with the frequency-following response (which he trademarked with the Monroe Institute in Virginia, as Hemi-Synch) to induce trance, entraining both hemispheres in alpha and theta (1982).
Hemi-Synch, also known as binaural beat technology, actively drives the modulation of electrocortical activity through resonance effects, changing levels of awareness and arousal, attentional focus, and cognitive content. Often combined with biofeedback, it helps shortcut processes that would take years of technologically unassisted yogic training.
Graywolf Swinney (2001), Dr. Stanley Krippner, and Iona Miller have conducted trainings in co-consciousness (Erickson, Rossi & Rossi, 1976) and theta training at Asklepia Foundation, also in Southern Oregon. A deep state of rapport is used in psychotherapeutic journey processes, employing shamanic hypnotherapeutic techniques. Theta is reportedly the psychic range of the mind, generated largely in the temporal lobes. Co-consciousness is a shared virtuality, a telepathic rapport wherein both participant’s brainwaves become synchronized into a single holographic biofield (Miller and Swinney, 2000).
Spontaneous psi phenomena have been associated with theta waves by Krippner (1977), the Greens (1977), and more recently by Persinger (1987). Consciously producing theta requires quieting the body, emotions and thoughts simultaneously, leading to an integrative reverie, a deep focus of attention. Theta is often accompanied by hypnagogic or dream-like imagery emanating from the temporal lobes.
John Curtis Gowan (1975) catalogued the entire spectrum of extraordinary phenomena related to trance, art, and creativity. In his taxonomy, he called these distinctive modes or domains of human dynamics Prototaxic (Trance), Parataxic (Art), and Syntaxic (Creativity).
Trance is characterized by loss of ego, art by emotionally charged (often symbolic) imagery, and in creativity meaning is more or less fully cognized symbolically with ego present. In some ways, these modalities could represent the uncanniness of precognition, the imagery of clairvoyance, and the knowing of telepathy.
Trance is often associated with awe, dread, horror, and panic since ego control is weak or absent. These numinous effects are moderated in the artistic experience that comes as visualization, audialization, emotional inspiration, sensual, symbolic and mythopoetic imagery.
In terms of precognition, artists are often said to be perceptually “ahead of their time.” Art is the transition phase in the relationship between the ego and the emergent transcendent function. Transcendence is a “quantum leap,” a recurrent process, not a steady-state. It is a phase-transition moving toward illumination. The syntaxic experience of creativity is even more benign since the mind apprehends directly without ego dissociation. Psi experiences become more naturally integrated – regular, inspirational and uplifting while less frightening or awesome.
Gowan’s work naturally included both hypnosis and ESP, which he cited as consciously or unconsciously operative at these various levels of dissociation, ego-involvement and levels of arousal (sympathetic and parasympathetic). Puharich (1961) found telepathic reception facilitated by parasympathetic activation, while sending the message was stronger with activation of the sympathetic, or adrenergic system.
For Gowan, the accessibility of certain psychic experiences depended on the mode of functioning. Intuitive self-knowledge is intrinsic to a wide variety of higher mental functions. Hypnosis and self-hypnosis are clearly linked to the primal trance, but can be applied in more integrated modes to enhance psi ability (Krippner, 1968).
In 1967, the Czech government tried to co-opt the allegedly successful psychical research and training program of biochemist Milan Ryzl. After screening many candidates, he found 50 high-scoring subjects, and they proceeded to win several rounds of the Czech lottery.
In 1973, after hosting Ryzl for weeks in his Seattle home with many late-night discussions on the nature of psi, physicist and parapsychologist Richard Alan Miller created a model for anomalous cognition. Also drawing on his laboratory experience with biofeedback, he wrote a paper called “ESP Induction through Forms of Self Hypnosis.” In 1975, while never claiming to be a psychic, he got to put his theory to a rather unique test: the World’s First Psychic Tournament.
On September 21, 1975, Llewellyn Publications, noted occult publisher, sponsored this event in Minneapolis, Minnesota as part of their 5th Annual Gnosticon Festival. The tournament itself was co-sponsored by the Foundation for the Study of Man, originally set up to continue the work of Dr. J. B. Rhine and his pioneering work in ESP at Duke University. Many famous psychics were invited, including such personalities as John Pierrakos and Sibyl Leek.
One of the authors of this article (RAM) was also invited to test the proposed models for inducing ESP ability using forms of self-hypnosis. Since he was relatively unknown for having any abilities in this ESP field, it seemed to hold some potential as a valid first study. More than 20 nationally known psychics also participated in this event.
The clairvoyance test consisted of twenty (20) cards randomly pulled from ten (10) poker decks. Each participant was to guess the suit of each card. With one chance in four of guessing the correct suit, the average score for a run of 20 cards with no ESP ability is 5. Each participant was given five (5) different runs. A final score determined the winner, with a total of 25 representing the norm.
What happened is now history: More than 50 percent of those participating showed normal scores ranging from 22 to 27 out of a possible 100, as would be expected in the general population. Most of the more well-known psychics showed some seemingly paranormal ability in clairvoyance, as expected, with total scores averaging between 8 and 12 correct answers out of 20. One well-known psychic even had a score as high as 61 out of a total possible 100.
Using the technique of ESP induction through forms of self-hypnosis as outlined in his paper, however, Miller did not have a run less than 16 out of 20. His total score was 83 out of 100. This was more than two orders of magnitude greater probability than scores of nationally recognized psychics. He took home a first place certificate as testament to his extraordinary performance. It still hangs on the wall in the office.
Of course, this anecdotal evidence does not constitute scientific proof of this model. What it does represent, however, is a need to understand the true significance of self-hypnosis is and how it relates to extra-sensory perception. Something definitely made a difference in the experiment. How might this be applied to therapy? Or perhaps to such questions as the role of placebo, spontaneous healing based in the physically-transforming belief that you can do something beyond your normal scope.
Miller went on to create an ESP screening questionnaire that helps define the attitudes that facilitate psi. It was given to 500 college students and weighing factors were assigned to individual questions.
The bell-shaped curve developed from the survey indicated that helpful traits included a belief in ESP, extroversion, freedom from anxiety, easy or frequent dream recall, hypnotizability, and a relatively expressive personality. Memory, creativity, and visualization/association showed inconclusive results.
However, EEG parameters showed a highly significant positive correlation between directional alpha frequency shift and ESP scoring. More recent studies have shown an even greater correlation for theta brainwaves and psi faculty. There also seems to be a correlation between high ESP scores and number of reported psi experiences.
In its Stargate Project, SRI developed even more stringent criteria for what constitutes a viable remote viewer, based on statistical results. In their program, the level of arousal, according to McMoneagle as told to JNLRMI, didn’t seem to matter much. Whereas normal people are recommended to relax or use the progression relaxation that facilitates self-hypnosis, professional remote viewers can begin from a relaxed state and move to an excited one, or begin excited and become calmer.
So, just how did Miller wind up beating the best psychics in the nation at their own game? And more importantly, how can you increase your Psi-Q? Miller developed a set of self-consistent definitions and postulates relating self-hypnosis and ESP, both a theory and a practice.
The standard definitions used for hypnosis often call it a borderline state between sleeping and waking, i.e. body asleep, mind awake. Any state characterized by an intense concentration of attention in on area, accompanied by a profound lack of attention in other areas, may also be considered hypnosis. It opens us to our psychophysical impressions by limiting external input.
With this type of definition, everyone is considered to be continually in a light state of hypnosis, witness “white line fever” while driving, or the plea, “I was spaced-out.” Musicians call it “being in the groove,” others “sharing a wavelength.” Our social roles are also like trance states with their intrinsic patterns. When we go in public we wear the ‘armour” of our persona and immerse ourselves in that self-image.
Charisma is also a form of hypnosis akin to Mesmer’s original “animal magnetism.” Traumas also create trance states with automatic behaviors that can persist for years. The “scripts, games, and rackets”of Transactional Analysis can also be seen as trance states, where we habitually replay our typical ways of dealing with self, others, and world. So the question becomes not “if” one is hypnotized, but what kind of trance and its depth one is in at any given moment.
The depth of hypnosis, which is an implied issue in this definition, may be defined as the difference between the intensity of concentration in one sphere or area and the depth of inhibition in others. Attention focused in one area creates a corresponding lacuna, or lack of attention, in other areas of the brain. Centering the attention for prolonged periods, often with suggestions for further deepening, leads to deeper states of hypnosis. With these definitions, a useful model for relating hypnosis to psi phenomena is possible.
Postulate I: The conscious experience is associated with the nervous processes which take place above a certain critical level of awareness/alertness. This function, defined as I(c), varies considerably in a state of hypnosis, where attention is focused.
Postulate II: Psi Energy, arbitrarily defined as E(psi), is an equivalent in the field of extra-sensory phenomenon of what, in our three-dimensional world, is called energy.
Correlate A: E(psi) is not limited by time.
Correlate B: E(psi) can not be transformed into other energies (i.e. physical energies,; converting heat into light).
Correlate C: E(psi) operates by manipulating the transformation of physical energies.
Postulate III: Psi Energy, is responsible for extra-sensory perception and psycho-kinetic phenomenon (PK).
Postulate IV: Psi Energy is the product of some aspect of the metabolic processes. Physical data regarding the relationship between metabolic processes and extra-sensory perception can be found in Beyond Telepathy, by Andrija Puharich.
Postulate V: The generation of Psi Energy rapidly decreases the level of alertness. This immediately explains why:
(1) each conscious act has a limited duration,
(2) why we experience a permanent train of changing thoughts, and
(3) why our attention permanently shifts from one object to the next.
When you think, Psi Energy is created. The Psi Energy automatically decreases the level of alertness so that one shifts to something else.
Postulate VI: The intensity of conscious experience, I(c), depends on the time rate of the generation of psi Energy. Mathematically, this is described as dE(psi)/dt = A(e) x I(c).
The rate of change of E(psi) as a function of time is equal to some geographical constant, A(e), times the intensity of concentration, I(c). More simply stated Psi Energy is equal to a geographical constant times the intensity of concentration, I(c), times the amount of time that the thought is held. E(psi) = A(e) x I(c) x t
If we cannot make any particular thought last long enough, it should be sufficient to repeat it again and again until the value of the individual brief periods add up to a sufficient value. The equation now becomes E(psi) = A(e) c I(c) x [t(1) + t(2) + t(3) + …]
Postulate VII: The formation of Psi Energy, which is created by a holistic psychophysical act, preserves the semantic control of the thought that created it. In essence, your thought is uniquely distinct. If you deviate from your thought slightly, it is a different thought-form, including the psychosomatic component. There is a tangible shift in the mind/body.
(2). Hold that thought for as long as possible.
(3). Assume that the event has occurred.
(4). Drop into a “blank mind” state and wait.
When questioning or desiring thoughts are intense enough, lasting long enough, or repeated frequently enough, psi is produced in sufficient intensity and structure to be detectable in the physical world. This may occur in hypnotic states, in states of intentionality, elated or traumatic emotions, or when interest, motivation, or desire is strongly increased.
The individual confronts the continuum with desire and prolonged concentration. The question being asked must be intense enough to impress itself on the unconscious. Lacking intensity, the signal will not be perceived. Intentionality strengthens the signal path.
Consciousness is then dropped into a “blank” state, an empty state, or “beginner’s mind.” The actual visualization is a switch from the concentrated point to the void. When this occurs the information is impressed on consciousness, resulting in a psychophysical perceptual event. This event is independent of both space and time.
Ordinarily when people spontaneously fall into trance states, they are generally not in a “blank mind” state of expectant emptiness. There is the chatter of subconscious thoughts going on even as the process deepens toward sleep. These thoughts are generated and go on automatically at a subliminal level, often without awareness.
Consequently, the information or signal path gets distorted, and weird patterns emerge, much like those experienced in dreams. In a waking dream, distorted signals may be perceived as “spirit guides”, automatic handwriting, or other autonomous related phenomena of trance states. We have seen earlier that Gowan characterized this loss of ego-awareness as the Prototaxic Mode.
Puharich believes reception is enhanced by “parasympathetic activation” in which there is an increase in released acetylcholine. He claims that telepathic sending of information is easier when there is an increased amount of adrenaline in the system. These metabolic processes are not “causal” but merely correlates of psi. Psi meaning comes through intense visual, auditory, and kinesthetic psychosensory experiences.
This “energized enthusiasm” can be seen in states of emotional involvement and artistic inspiration (Parataxic Mode), as well as creativity (Syntaxic Mode). Parataxic experience consists of relationships with multisensory images whose meaning remains on the symbolic level.
Syntaxic experiences occur when the consciously aware ego cooperates willingly with the subconscious forces. Here knowing and meaning are clearer and fully cognized with minimal distortion. Other higher forms of concentration include biofeedback, meditation, tantra, peak experiences, higher Jhana states of yoga, and so on. Concentration is intense, structured and prolonged.
ESP is often observed in hypnosis, a state characterized by a single intensive thought. Recurrent cases of psycho-kinetic phenomena, such as the haunted-house variety, are often reported to be connected with previous trauma or tragic events, associated with intensity of concentration, I(c).
The frequently reported cases of crisis telepathy – ESP contact between two persons, one of which is dying or in grave danger – are necessarily associated with intense thought or concentration, even obsession and a highly aroused state. The length of time experienced depends entirely upon the circumstances; in some cases there is subjective dilation of time perception.
The discovery of mental impregnation, known in the literature as psychometry suggests that repeated identical thoughts increase the expected psychic effect. Wearing a ring for a long time may “imprint” memory of the wearer onto the ring; just slipping a ring on and off and handing it to a psychometrist will not generally reveal any memory of the wearer.
Religious or spiritual traditions assert that repeated prayers may be more effective than single ones. In other words, the more you repeat the same prayer, or mantra, or the more you do a single ritual, the greater the effect. Along that line of reasoning, “tithing” might be seen as a factor of one’s time or attention, rather than money. Some meditation schools, for example, require no money but 10% of your daily time (2.5 hours) in meditation.
The stimulating action of psi formation on the brain may account for memory, more particularly, active recollection. The influence of psi formation increases the level of awareness of the neuro-patterns corresponding to the thought to be remembered. The synapses are flooded over and over with the same chemical messengers and electrical signals. The correlating psychosomatic content is consciously re-experienced.
Krippner went on to conduct research in Dream Telepathy (1973) with Montague Ullman, following the lead of other Maimonides Hospital (Brooklyn, N.Y.) researchers, such as Frederick Myers. These experiments in nocturnal ESP are foundational and though never replicated, the results were highly suggestive of a strong psi correlation.
Their ten-year study concluded that dream reports can show the effect of telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. Their hypothesis was that ESP is more common during dreaming than waking and therefore an “agent” could more easily transfer the target thoughts or imagery to a sleeping subject, influencing their dreams.
Such prominent dream researchers as David Foulkes (Belvedere & Foulkes, 1971), Gordon Globus (Globus et al., 1968), Calvin Hall (1967), Robert Van de Castle (1971), and Keith Hearne (1987) attempted to repeat these findings. Because the replication rate from these other laboratories was inconsistent, the Maimonides team did not claim to have conclusively demonstrated that communication in dreams can sometimes transcend space and time. However, they did open a promising line of investigation.
Years later, Stanley Krippner and Michael Persinger, a Canadian neuroscientist, reviewed the entire body of dream research data from Maimonides Medical Center, selecting the first night that each subject in a telepathy experiment had visited the laboratory. They matched the results of these nights with geomagnetic data, discovering that the subjects’ telepathy “hits” tended to be higher during calm nights than during nights marked by electrical storms and high sunspot activity (Persinger & Krippner, 1989).
Persinger (1974) has urged using reported psi phenomena in new and ingenious ways, observing,“Across cultures and throughout history people have been reporting psi- experiences. Let us find out what they are saying. . .It is by looking at the similarities of the verbal behavior that we may find enough consistencies to understand the factors responsible for the reports” (p. 13).
Persinger (e.g., Schaut & Persinger, 1985) has examined several collections of spontaneous cases, including the 35 gathered by Stevenson (1970), reporting that they seem to occur most frequently when geomagnetic activity is calmer than the days before or after the experience – – and lower than the month’s average activity.
This approach can be applied to any collection of cases (e.g., Persinger & Krippner, 1989) where the date of the alleged experience has been recorded. If repeatable, these effects may help to provide an understanding of the mechanisms underlying psi phenomena, and may even indicate a potentially predictable pattern for such events.(Krippner)
Geomagnetic field perturbations have been reported to affect biological systems by other investigators (e.g., Subrahmanyam, Sanker Narayan, & Srinivasan, 1985). Persinger (1989) has proposed two interpretations of the geomagnetic field effect. The first is that psi is a geomagnetic field correlate; solar disturbances and consequent geomagnetic storms affect this correlate. The second is that the geomagnetic field affects brain receptivity to psi, which remains constant.
In the latter interpretation, psi is always present in space and time, waiting to be accessed by crisis, emotion, or by optimal laboratory stimulus parameters. Geomagnetic activity may affect the detection capacity of the brain for this information, especially the neural pathways that facilitate the consolidation and conscious access to this information. Without this geomagnetic activity, awareness of the psi stimulus might not be as likely and the brain’s “latent reserve capacities” would not be utilized.
Taking this argument one step further, Persinger (1989) points out that deep temporal lobe activity exists in equilibrium with the global geomagnetic condition. When there is a sudden decrease in geomagnetic activity, there appears to be an enhancement of processes that facilitate psi reception, especially telepathy and clairvoyance.
Increases in geomagnetic activity may suppress pineal melatonin levels and contribute to reductions of cortical seizure thresholds. Indeed, melatonin is correlated with temporal lobe-related disorders such as depression and seizures. (Krippner)
So what direction can we expect psi research to take in this new millennium?Clearly, the experimenters themselves want to follow a self-directed course rather than the mandates of a government-driven program. They would like access to private, academic, and government funds, with leading edge equipment: high-ticket brain monitoring equipment such as 90-channel EEG, fMRI, SPECT, and ERP. They would like to practice without a professional stigma attached to their pioneering work.
Several theories of psi have been put forth throughout the years. Psychologist Rex Stanford, altered-states expert Charles Tart, post-quantum physicist Jack Sarfatti, and psi researcher Charles Honorton, as well as physicist Helmut Schmidt have all developed models for ESP and precognition. Each embodies certain possible, even plausible factors. Some researchers worked with Eastern swamis and yogis to understand the mechanisms and induction techniques or evocation of this psychic power.
Quantum theory predits that empty space (the vacuum) contains an enormous amount of residual background energy known as zero-point energy (ZPE). Physicist David Bohm, biologist Rupert Sheldrake (researching psychic pets) with his morphogenetic fields, and Ervin Laszlo propose zero-point or vacuum potential mediation for psi. The superdense quantum vacuum may be a physically real field, including but not limited to gravitation and electromagnetism. Perhaps it can transmit psi.
However, they can’t provide any experimental protocols that might test such theories. Is psi a field or a quantum effect? Fields link phenomena in time as well as space. But, fields themselves cannot be observed; only the influences propagating through them.
Other theories suggest phase-conjugate pilot waves, scalar waves, virtual states, hyperfield flux, holographic hyperchannel effect, complementarity, even uncertainty. Biophysical theories for the paranormal bridge include Josephson junctions, microtubules, and liquid crystals as psi transducers.
Honorton and others long ago found defects in old psi testing techniques and addressed criticisms with new methodology. They eliminated variables like subconscious cueing by covering the subjects’eyes with split ping-pong balls and playing “white noise” into their ears.
Researchers hypothesized that this neutral field would function as a less-distracting “blank canvas” for psi hits. So it served a dual purpose of refining experimental procedure and minimizing distracting sensory input. These experiments, (known as Ganzfield tests), were replicated by many experimenters in many facilities, with encouragingly similar positive results. Other tests were conducted in sensory deprivation chambers and electrically-shielded Faraday cages.
Experimenter bias, the tendency to find what one seeks, is an occupational hazard, though skeptics have found positive psi correlations. But careful interpretations of models, artifacts, experimental method, instrumentation, randomization, target selection, statistical inference, sensory leakage, recording errors, and controls can’t be rigorous enough.
Proper scientific control for ESP research has been refined over the years, though cheating and frauds have plagued the field, and the naïve scientist. One solution to this dilemma lately has been to experiment with the field-tested government Remote Viewers, who have established track records. They have their own reports of their subjective experiences – not the results of their missions – but the sensations that led to the observation or retrieval of those images.
Remote viewer Ingo Swann, called the father of RV, argues for the demystification of psi. Swann’s model supercedes the traditional psi paradigm and focuses on the hardware issues discussed in neurobiology and information theory.
Swann argues for systematic and deliberate development of this ability much like athletic training, as well as conceptual understanding. He prefers the term Distant Mental Interactions with Living Systems (DMILS) to ESP. He wants this capacity tested in the context of physical science as part of man’s natural spectrum of senses. He claims applying focus or attention on the perceptual apparatus with feedback on results “fine tunes” psi ability.
His concrete approach and insightful conclusions include his view of our sensory apparatus as a “transducer array” to convert information from one form to another. He calls his human “software” program a “mental information processing grid.” He simply converts various forms of input energy to another form his sensory system can “read.”
We do much the same when we interpret the electromagnetic signals that come through the air from a voice into meaning in our brains. He suggests we can develop the ability for several transducers of signals, depending on our exposure to the cognitive processing of these signals.
Targ claimed to see reasonably sharp and clear pictures. In remote viewing, if the mental picture doesn’t form, one is left with a mere “impression,” a less-precise signal. The signal is compared against memory to determine if it is meaningful to the task at hand – the target.
In other words, you can develop this ability through practice and feedback of the accuracy of your perceived signals. Pathways that work get reinforced. The process is very similar to psychophysical learning with biofeedback, such as alpha and theta training.
Swann argues for learning to fine tune one’s signal to noise ratio, learning to notice direct sensory data as well as imaginal signals, such as feelings, intuition, impressions. Repeated exposure and accurate feedback strengthens recognition of subtle and implicit relationships. Can cybernetic machines, such as random number generators, computers, and biofeedback devices help us hone psi faculties?
Swann emphasizes the difference between message and its structure. An experienced viewer can put together mental images from subtle cues. In RV, the signal appears as symbols, sounds, feelings, tastes, pictures, and holistic impressions. One learns to organize them based, again, on repeated feedback.
Misconceptions, fears, rigid concepts, body movement, excessive gastrointestinal activity, sleepiness, language categories, and other psychological “baggage” can be sources of confounding noise. Other blocks come from trying too hard, and distracting daydreaming or preoccupying thoughts. Telepathy, empathy or rapport, and charisma seem to be related and clearly come into play during therapeutic entrainment.
Nothing is known about the physical mechanism of ESP, or anomalous cognition. No one knows what modulates performance. Even those who can demonstrate psi in the laboratory on demand, cannot account for signal nonlocality or distant interaction. The origins of the data are not revealed, only the conclusions with their level of resolution or accuracy. This is where the models of information theory and biophysics come into play.
Physicist Lian Sidorov proposes two working models for non-local communication and intent-mediated healing:
1). Direct transmission (entrainment) of specialized electromagnetic frequencies, observed primarily in proximal healing; and,
2). Distant healing and remote viewing/diagnosis, where the target’s electromagnetic profile is modulated from a distance via partial entanglement of subject-target.
He cites the research of Finnish physicst Matti Pitkanen as a model for “directed entanglement” between the subject and target – the magnetic sensory canvas hypothesis. Pitkanen conjectures that distance healing involves transfer of specific electromagnetic frequencies through quantum wormholes for near-instant transfer of information.
The transmission may trigger certain brain frequencies and psychophysical changes. Thus, amplification of the signal leads from quantum to macroscopic effects. Pitkanen suggests the brain is a sensory organ of our electromagnetic selves, and may be linked to planetary rhythms through Schumann Resonance.
In his model, the EM fields are not directly carried from sender to target. They are simultaneously generated at the two locations by a vacuum (geometrical) current. Therefore, they remain coherent while by passing the paradox of non-attenuation with distance. Neural processing and quantum events may interpenetrate.
This still doesn’t really account for origins of the data, but merely the transmission modes. Biophysics researchers are attempting to follow the signal back to its source. The research must be interfaced with current theories in the natural sciences. Then it can be considered empirical; the paradoxical anomaly can then be linked within the known framework of knowledge. Is there really a field, or field-like continua, capable of transmitting information beyond the recognized limits of time and space?
Laszlo (1996) suggests that the natural processes of complexity and chaos could amplify vacuum-level fluctuations into significant inputs to behavior, and that the brain, another chaotic system, could receive and amplify these signals which can penetrate into consciousness.
Occam’s Razor is a principle applied in science that contends problems should be stated in basic terms, not making more assumptions than needed to choose the simplest of equivalent models. Many hypotheses are proposed, tested, and rejected. Their validity is debated exposing their flaws and underlying assumptions.
Additional relevant hypotheses and unrelated statements are weeded out. Experiments with the sensitivity reveal which yield the most accurate predictions. If two rival theories pass empirical tests, the simpler one must be preferred. When it comes to conspiracy theories, we apply Hanlon’s Razor:“Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”
But before we can find answers, we have to ask the right questions. Once we ask the right questions, we often have all the information needed to solve the problem. Unfortunately, in the case of psi, it may be that our understanding of physics is still too incomplete to solve the riddle.
Lian Sidorov, editor of Journal of Non-Locality and Remote Mental Interactions has posed many incisive questions:
How can one strengthen the signal line?
What is the significance of electromagnetic signatures detected at the target in remote conscious interactions?
What is the earliest physiological detector of psi information in the transduction pathway to conscious awareness?
What determines the direction of information flow in nonlocal interactions; for example, between healer and patient?
Sidorov (2003) summarizes his discussion with expert remote viewer, Joe McMoneagle:
Are there preferred pathways for the signals in psi phenomena, windows of psi “sensitivity”? How specifically is the target recognized? How does one modulate and target “intent”? How does the signal rise above the threshold of awareness?
Mental intent seems to create cognitive bridges between subject and object, operator and target. We can also learn to recognize certain psychophysical patterns in ourselves through feedback. The physical and the psychical are inseparable. There appears to be an energetic/informational component, perhaps based in EM frequencies and holographic interference patterns. Holographic processes do occur in nature, including holographic information storage. The holographic field is a physical reality composed of interference waves.
In Scientific American (Aug. 2003), Bekenstein poses the question “Are you a hologram?” and states quantum physics says the entire universe might be. Can a somatic EM hologram possibly amplify as little as one quantum of energy into an effective signal? Are there holographic hyperchannels? Information in a field is holographic and the propagation of holographic interference patterns is quasi-instantaneous. Every part of the field contains the whole informational content, just in lower resolution.
Entanglement seems to occur somehow between all participants of a given intentional set-up. We have no idea how the non-local factor of target specificity is accomplished, other than intent and training. Do subject and target share a unified holographic field? Are standing waves picked up and carried by the Schumann Resonance, or transmitted by scalar waves or a gradient in the vacuum potential? Are the brains entrained on a resonant frequency? Does DNA function as a multi-mode antenna regulating growth, evolution, and perhaps psi?
Are specific interference patterns in the brain decoded and amplified? Ambient ELF fields and human bioreceptors, such as liquid crystals and piezoelectric crystal calcifications, have been suggested.
How we can increase our sensitivity is yet another question. The signal is perceived against a transient background of chaotic noise, and amplified by the body’s physiological pathways. Desire, intense concentration, and spiritual focus have been suggested. The trance state has been proposed as restricting the amount of input while allowing access to subtle perceptions.
Mind is a dynamic function of the entire organism at all levels of self-organization. Constantly fluctuating local parameters are embodied and amplified through the body’s electromagnetic control hologram. Mind/body modulates our sensitivity to external and internal information. Researchers measure a brainwave known as Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) to measure anticipation, anticipatory strategies, or readiness to respond; this stimulus can be informative or uninformative, carry content or just be an alert.
Remote viewing requires super-sensitivity and super-efficient states. It is not the result of cognitive training, but a gradual remolding of the entire psychophysical structure and metabolic pathways. Thus, the mind/body becomes a highly coherent, information-transparent transducer.
Vast information resources are hidden in unexplored manifolds of the mind/body continuum. In psi research, the study of nature and our nature – our potential – becomes entwined. As Einstein (1934,The World As I See It) said, “We are seeking for the simplest possible scheme of thought that will bind together the observed facts.”
Remote Viewing by Joseph McMoneagle
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Iona Miller and Richard Alan Miller, 2003
Organization for the Advancement of Knowledge, Grants Pass, Oregon
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